The Hylas 48 had an incredible journey last year! From being built in Taiwan, shipped, offloaded, and commissioned in Annapolis days before the Newport boat show. A 2 day excursion north with winds 25-30 kts on the nose, was really the first test of the strength, durability, and safety this yacht provides. We had waves crashing over the bow, over the dodger and Bimini, which made for an unpleasant delivery for the crew. The yacht however handled it like a Sunday walk in the park, motoring thru and getting us to the show just in time, proving some of its blue water capabilities.
The Newport boat show went off with out a hitch and everyone was dying to get a look at the new Bill Dixon design. From previous clients to new prospects the H48 surprised all with its beautiful lines, use of space, and incredible craftsmanship that all Hylas yachts are known for. Becoming a tourist attraction for all the dreamers looking for a live aboard cruiser under 50 ft. I must have been asked a hundred times how does she sail? Unfortunately the trip from Annapolis didn’t provide me with an answer. Even when we rounded Long Island and I thought there was a chance we might get some sails out, the wind clocked right around with us and back on the nose. However the show was coming to a close and I knew she’d be sailing soon.
After the show the winds in Narragansett bay became favorable and we finally got to see what she had to offer. And What an amazing sailor she is! With light winds 5-10 knots or so the first day, she was seeing 6-8 kts. And when the winds filled in the next we really got to see her true colors seeing her hit 9s and 10s pointing well, not feeling overpowered, and handling like a dream. Providing us with truly amazing test sails and photo shoots, and solidifying her ability to sail.
A rendezvous race was ahead of her next, we knew she’d be a contender as we headed to Herreshoff museum. The museum was amazing, and worth seeing if you’re in the area. The race began the next day with the Hylas M44 sounding the race horn. The 48 was off and holding its own with the Hylas 56s. As she raced along with a full jib and main, the cutter came out and the extra sail area proved useful as she gained a half a knot and then puff on and she’s cruising a full knot higher. The 3 56s just ahead in the lead were impressed with her speed. The race ended and some current Hylas owners even shared there newfound respect for the 48. At the raft up after, the galley proved useful for the the full spread of delicious food to be heated and the spacious interior proved useful as well, as the trays of hors d’oeuvres came out.
Next she was off to Annapolis boat show, where her popularity grew even stronger, as the judges from the magazines grew fonder of her, as well as, all her new admirers in Annapolis, and those intrigued with the new Bill Dixon design. Making her way into three major magazines, (Cruising World, Sail, Sailing magazine) the judges loved sailing her, even though the light winds after the show weren’t in our favor, for some judges. The new Hylas impressed all with its build quality, layout, systems, and sailing. All the attention was well received and she cruised with her held held high after the show and on the trip to Florida. The Dolphins seemed to love the 48s speed, as they spent hours, upon hours, riding her bow. She was wing to wing seeing 12 knots as we cruised down the Florida coast. The sun set in Rivera Beach Marina that evening was spectacular, where she has been available for test sails. The new year ahead for the 48 looks very promising to say the least :) Miami Boat Show here we come next!